Three weeks ago, my family and a group of Cardinal Newman Society pilgrims were newly arrived in Rome — and what a contradiction we seemed!
The post NEW! What Would The Saints Say STAMPS appeared first on Equipping Catholic Families.
We love the Saints! And what better time than ALL SAINTS DAY to launch our new line of What Would The Saints Say Journal Stamps! How about using them in your prayer journal, planner, wall calendar, snail mail or lunch notes? The Saints are holy heroes to us and they can model the way […]
From time to time I get really stupid questions about my late term born alive abortion statistics. These abortions are all done after 20 weeks gestation.
The Solemnity of All Saints on November 1 is the day Christians honor the memory of the multitude of saints without their own feast day, who now enjoy the vision of God for all eternity. On November 2, All Souls Day, the Church reminds us of the need to pray for those who have died and are now being purified, so that they may attain the beatific vision of God.
Not many people believe in ghosts. I didn’t either. Until one day I saw one. Yes, I saw a ghost and he spoke to me. I’ll never forget the experience.
It happened years ago on a dark and wintry night in the depth of a mountainous region of Scotland.
I was driving late at night after visiting some business customers up North and somehow I lost my way. It was the days before satellite navigation systems and cell-phones to help you communicate and get from one place to another.
It was raining heavily with thunder and lightning brightening the skies for brief intervals and piercing the darkness of the road ahead. As usually happens in ghost stories and movies, my car eventually stopped having run out of gas.
But this was for real.
Not a movie script which I could put down and return to my reality sitting next to a warm fire with a hot chocolate drink in my hands. This was for real. My car stopped in the middle of nowhere on a cold rainy night with thunder and lightning for companionship. I swear I heard the howling of some wild creature in the distance.
What was I to do? I couldn’t stay in the car all night and possibly freeze to death. Or be tinned food for whatever hungry creature is out there. It could have been a giant man-eating haggis for all I know. I had no blanket in the car and I’d forgotten my overcoat at the office.
So there I was. All alone in a car with no means of communication. Cold. Hungry. Afraid. And I wanted to go to the toilet too. I should not have had that second cup of coffee they offered me. Coffee is quite diuretic, you know.
Stupidly perhaps, I decided to get out of the car and water a nearby tree. I could hold it no longer it was so freezing. Moments later I was back in the car totally wet and even colder than before because of the driving rain; but greatly relieved. After all, I had to do what I had to do and I could not do it from inside the car.
Now back in the car I was shivering and my teeth were chattering in tune with my racing heartbeat. My wet clothes stuck to the leather seat. My shoes and socks were soaking wet throughout. Because of the rain … the rain … are you paying attention? Please don’t make up your own jokes at my misfortune.
Stupidly again, I decided to get out of the car and walk in any direction trying to find shelter. I locked the car and walked ahead in total darkness and driving rain, (or should I now say walking rain?)
Every so often my solitude was broken by the occasional clap of thunder followed by a flash of lightning.Or was it the other way round?
Anyway, after walking for about half an hour there it was. Not a castle, as you’d expect in the Highlands. But a house. Admittedly a large house; again just like you’d expect in horror movies. Big and dark with overhanging trees and climbing ivy everywhere. But not a castle.
I knocked at the door … no bell. And eventually, after what seemed an eternity an old man opened the door.
He was wearing an eye patch. What I mean, he was wearing clothes, very old clothes, and he had an eye patch on. Did you really think he was wearing nothing else but an eye patch? Where would he put the eye-patch in that case? I wish you’d pay more attention.
“Och aye … It’s a dreich day! Aye right.” he said in his native tongue. I didn’t understand a word he said, so I asked him whether I could seek shelter for the night.
“Yer’re drookit!” he said, “Aye … come in … come in …”
I entered a dark room lit by a couple of candles. He beckoned me to sit by a small log fire to keep warm.
As I sat there still shivering he walked away towards the wall and vanished through it.
My blood ran cold. A shiver, ran down my spine … that’s a new shiver, not the one I was shivering with previously. I could have said a frisson, but I was in Scotland not France. So a shiver it was … och aye!
I could not believe my eyes. The man had actually walked through a wall.
Admittedly, it was dark, I was cold and freezing wet and quite hungry, but I assure you I was not hallucinating. I did not imagine it.
The man just walked towards the wall and vanished through it. The experience made me want to go to the toilet once again; but this time it had nothing to do with the coffee. I must have cried in fear a little because I felt tears running down my leg.
Moments later he returned through the wall just as he had vanished. He stood there looking at me with one eye. The other eye was covered by an eye patch, remember.
My knees were knocking together in rhythm with my heart and chattering teeth. I had butterflies in my stomach and their knees were knocking too. Even my goose bumps had goose bumps of their own.
“Are you … are you … a spirit?” I heard myself mumble.
“Yer mean … be I a drop of whisky?” he muttered, “Of course not … I be a ghost … A ghost, laddie. I been here fer’ years. Och aye! Trapped in this house of doom fer ever, laddie.”
I gulped and asked “Are you the ghost of a pirate? I mean … the eye patch …” I continued pointing at his face.
“Och no … laddie,” he said, “this be no pirate’s doing! I got this one day as I was sliding through a keyhole and someone put a key in it. Occupational hazard for us ghosts!
“On another occasion I slid under a door. There was an old lassie on the other side vacuum cleaning and I got sucked in the vacuum cleaner.”
I smiled and said nothing.
“Now I just walk right through walls and solid objects,” he said in perfect English, “much safer don’t you know old boy … what?”
I picked up a bottle of vintage whisky nearby and took a gulp to keep me warm.
They found me the next morning fast asleep with an empty bottle beside me.
The Responsorial Psalm affirms God’s unfailing mercy and love: “Save me, O Lord, in your mercy” (Psalm109).In Romans 5: 31-39 Paul puts all our security in the reliability and power of God’s love. Nothing, he says, “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”It makes no difference what others think or say about us, or even what they do to us: “If God is for us, who can be against?… It is God who acquits us; who will condemn?” What can anyone do that will separate us from the love of Christ? That is all that matters.All we need to concern ourselves with is persevering in faith, hope and love, serving God as faithful stewards of all that has been entrusted to us. If we do this we can live in perfect confidence, because God’s love will never fail us. He is the God of “steadfast love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34:6). He proved it by giving up his own Son for us on the cross. We pray with assurance, “Save me, O Lord, in your mercy.”Luke 13: 31-35 shows us Jesus practicing what Paul preached. The sustaining force in Jesus’ life was the Father’s love for him and his love for the Father. Even when his people refused to listen to him and Herod sought to kill him, he continued on his course: “I cast out demons and perform healings today and tomorrow, and on the third day I accomplish my purpose” — by dying and rising from the dead. He was saddened by Jerusalem’s refusal to accept the Good News. Later he would weep over the city, foreseeing her fate (Luke 19:41). But he kept going until on the cross he could finally say, “It is finished!” (John 19:30; see 16:4).The greatest test of stewardship is perseverance — especially when it seems that Jesus has left us alone and is never coming back! That is when it is hard to persevere in prayer, to keep affirming our faith and hope, and to continue working against all visible odds for the transformation of society and the establishment of God’s reign in the world.That is when we have to remember that God’s love never fails and will not fail us. We have to insist with ourselves that nothing, absolutely nothing, “will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” And we have to keep looking forward to the day Jesus promised, when we and all who have persevered in faith and hope will cry out at his coming, “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.”Initiative: Be Christ’s steward. Remember his faithfulness and persevere.